I am sitting here with baited breath hoping that the multiple wrapped packages containing copies of The Reader 29 arrive tomorrow morning. It is always quite an anxious time this: organising the despatch from the printers to The Reader office; checking to see that the cover and photos have been printed to a high enough standard; hoping that there are no mistakes in contributors’ names or the body text; organising the post-out to subscribers and ensuring that address labels, leaflets and magazines find their way into the plastic envelope with the magazine to be sent on their way (thanks needs to go out, already, to the volunteers that help me with this process). Then, after all that, I can sit and enjoy reading the thing!
Here are a few highlights that you can look forward to in issue 29 of The Reader – Voices That Need to be Heard:
• The Poet on his Work: Kenneth Steven is the latest brave soul to take on the challenge of writing about the process by which a poem comes to light. His fine poem ‘That Year’ stays purposefully somewhat out of reach, as the poet believes there must be something left for the reader to do. He also writes of the poet’s vulnerable waiting for poetry to arrive.
• Richard Dawkins gets a proper mauling from Howard Jacobson, who rebels against the geneticist’s evangelical atheism, and almost abandons his own doubts. For the sake of balance, our own Graham Hayes provides the counter argument.
• The Interview. The brilliant Shakespearean actor Mark Rylance talks about his work, and his belief that the writer we know as Shakespeare is not Will S. (‘Stratford man’) but rather a group of writers. It is an honest and rather unusual interview.
• Joseph Conrad is here in many guises – in a searching essay by Andrzej Gasiorek, in Raymond Tallis’s moving story, ‘Heart of Darkness’ and in Suze Clarke’s recommendation of The Shadow-Line for Readers Connect. We have been very indulgent: William Wordsworth is also here in a round table of readings from writers such as Stephen Gill and Joanna Trollope.
• Lynne Hatwell, writer of the deservedly popular blog dovegreyreader tells us of her own reading groups.
Posted by Jen Tomkins